Promise Heights Strategies

Group of children who are the next generation scholars

Promise Heights supports the implementation of innovative strategies that improve outcomes for children in one of Baltimore’s most distressed communities.

This is accomplished by building a cradle-to-college-and-career continuum of supports and by increasing the capacity of community organizations and neighborhood leaders to plan, implement, and track progress toward education and neighborhood-based results.

Promise Heights builds a pipeline to prosperity for families, surrounding them with vital support that ignites the engines of opportunity. 

  • Early childhood development
  • Social-emotional support
  • School attendance support
  • School-based learning and tutoring
  • After-school and summer programs
  • Technology and curriculum support for schools
  • Housing, health, and supportive services
  • Postsecondary and career pathways
  • Financial education and budgeting



Promise Heights Strategies Additional PhotoPromise Heights is starting to see results in a neighborhood suffering from the effects of concentrated poverty and systemic racism.

For more information, please download our Promise Heights brochure.


  • Babies are being born full-term an at healthy weights, reducing the infant mortality rate to almost ZERO in Upton/Druid Heights. Fewer babies are admitted to neonatal intensive care units, more babies thrive in the first year of life, and more mothers are choosing to breastfeed to ensure a healthy start in life.
  • As of 2019, more than 190 families have been trained in Parent University and have shown significant increases in positive parenting behaviors and developmentally appropriate strategies.
  • More than 400 students participate in after-school programming each year, providing a unique opportunity to explore new areas in which a student can discover their passions.


  • More than 150 middle and high school students benefit from school-based mentoring programs that connect them to caring and supportive adults both in and out of the school building.
  • More than 500 chronically absent students are assigned a PromiseCorps member to help them overcome barriers to regular school attendance. In the first year of the pilot program, three of the five schools saw their hardest-to-engage students at school more often.
  • In 2019, through a partnership with Baltimore City Community College and the University of Maryland Medical System, a semester-long phlebotomy certification program was established at Renaissance Academy, ensuring students can begin work upon high school graduation.


Father with baby“Promise Heights began with a handshake with one principal of one school and now encompasses B’more for Healthy Babies and other cradle-to-early childhood-to-career services, five community schools, and support for many other nonprofit programs in support of the Upton/Druid Heights community. This work is emblematic of the strong relationship between UMB and surrounding communities and the way that integrating science and service brings in significant grant awards to help strengthen the fabric of Baltimore.”

Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW

Dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work